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Posts tagged ‘Beauty’

Hair Supply

I like big hair and I cannot lie.

Why is it that we’re seeing younger people getting hair loss at such an early age? Is it just a genetic issue or does it have to do with environmental factors as well? I believe that it’s due to both. Genetic causes of chronic degenerative disease is only about 3-4%, compared to greater than 90% due to environmental causes.

There’s a lot we can do to prevent or even reverse hair loss. We have to know the factors that lead to this condition. One, there’s the issue of poor circulation. Our hair needs to be nourished. Poor circulation means less nutrients going to the hair follicles. What causes poor circulation? Dietary factors such as intake of trans-fats or hydrogenated oils as well as calcium build-up along the arterial lining can do that. Poor nutrition also leads to hair loss. Where do you think our hair comes from? It comes from our food. Hair is primarily protein. Therefore, an adequate intake of amino acids should lead to a full head of hair. But, it’s not just that. An adequate amount of certain vitamins, minerals and glycosaminoglycans are also needed for healthy hair. Nutritious food should contain adequate nutrients. However, this is not always true because certain produce, esp. ones that are produced through commercial, chemical farming are nutritionally deficient. Produce farmed bio-dynamically and not just organically, should contain adequate amounts of nutrients to help our body renew itself (and that includes the hair).

What about personal products that damage the hair or hair follicles? There’s a substance in hair gels or products that could actually clog the hair follicles and cause them to ultimately die. The one implicated the most is a chemical called PVP coplymer, a petrochemical product. Avoid this at all costs. There are other chemicals that could cause damage to cells in general such as pthalates and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate. Just notice how more companies are touting that they don’t contain these products.

Another cause of hair loss is hormonal imbalance. Undiagnosed thyroid issues could cause hair loss. A testosterone metabolite called DHT could cause hair loss, thus the popularity of synthetic DHT blockers such as Propecia or Avodart. A more natural way to influence testosterone metabolism is through the use of zinc supplements (which by the way is a very common nutritional deficiency). Other natural DHT blockers include saw palmetto, lycopene (from tomatoes), pygeum and stinging nettle. Low testosterone levels in men as well as low estrogen levels in women could also lead to hair loss. Isolated HGH deficiency could cause regeneration and repair to slow down as we age. That means, less production of new tissue, including our hair.

What do you do to improve HGH levels? Besides exercise, there are amino acids that stimulate HGH release from the pituitary. The most effective one for people over the age of 40 is L-glutamine. Goji berries has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to stimulate HGH release from the pituitary. Otherwise, a peptide called HGHRH (analogue) could also be used. I found this as effective as HGH, with less side effects.

What are other natural remedies that could stimulate hair growth? An Ayurvedic treatment includes the use of neem hair oil. Traditional Chinese medicine may recommend fo-ti pr he she wou. Essential oils that stimulate hair growth include therapeutic-grade peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary, lavender, thyme and sandalwood. Minoxidil works for some people but it does work better combined with substances such as retin-A, aldactone, progesterone, azelaic acid, copper peptides, SOD, and copper-zinc binding peptides.

Procedures one should consider before the last resort (hair transplant) include the use of low level laser therapy and the use of a micro-dermaroller. Consult with your holistic health care practitioner before incorporating any of the above suggestions.

Wow, that smells!

Shelves of perfumes

Image via Wikipedia

I knew it! There’s something more to perfumes or colognes than the strong smell they give off. I often wonder why some people splash (or practically bathe) themselves with very strong scents. I guess some people use it to attract others while some use it to mask their body odors. It’s all good unless the smell is too strong or offensive. Ever gone to places where heavily perfumed people have been? Sometimes, the odor lingers for hours on end (maybe not that long). Apparently, there are other ways that synthetic colognes/perfumes could harm you. They could cause male infertility by damaging men’s sperm, according to a Harvard study done in 2006. This was also the conclusion made by the Environmental Working Group, who said that the secret ingredients in popular perfume brands are causing damage to sperm. One of the offending agents mentioned is diethyl phthalate (DEP), which is a xeno-estrogen or hormone-disruptor found in the colognes. So, if men want to stay virile (guys, if you wanna have babies) into their older age, stay away from those synthetic scented perfumes/colognes. A better option would be to use therapeutic-grade essential oils. They can be used as perfumes as well as for various ailments. In fact, the oils have been used since ancient times. Records their use have been found in the Ebers Papyrus and the Bible. However, don’t just get essential from anywhere including health food stores. Most of them are not prepared properly such that the oils practically no therapeutic value. If you’re going to use essential oils, make sure that they’re prepared properly. I know of a company that has the motto of “From Seed To Seal”. They have stringent quality control procedures in place such that I’m confident in using them myself and recommending them to my loved ones and my clients.

The Darker Side of Beauty

Dermatology products

Image via Wikipedia

What’s up with mercury in skin whitening agents, toluene in nail polish, lead in lipstick and other sorts of toxins found in beauty products? The fact is that a lot of personal care products such as shampoos, lotions, make-up and hair styling products contain ingredients that are linked to asthma, cancer, infertility and birth defects, among many others. Why do you think there’s a surge in incidence of chronic degenerative diseases? Aside from the fact that our food is not as nutritious (because of farming practices and the extensive use of pesticides), we are seeing a deluge of synthetic chemicals that have not been tested for safety. And even if they have, they’re usually tested singly and not in combination with other chemicals. This toxic soup of chemicals have harmful synergistic effects. Scary! Therefore, go natural as much as possible. Read labels too! Explore for all natural body care.

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